When it involves Vietnam veterans, some (not all) of our legislators turn a deaf ear. Those who do understand our health problems do try to help. They are the minority. I speak for Navy Blue Water Sailors, as well as some Air Force and Fleet Marines. These veterans of the forsaken Vietnam War did not have Boots-On-Ground. For the most part, these veterans are not eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) health care or compensation for Agent Orange presumptive exposure.
Who is doing the job of some legislators? John Bury, U.S. Navy, retired; John Rossie, U.S. Navy veteran; Susie Belanger, wife of a U.S. Navy veteran; Heather Bowser, daughter of an U.S. Army veteran; and Kelly Derricks, daughter of an U.S. Air Force veteran. We are advocates for the passage of the Agent Orange bills. We are just a few of many who are involved, yet, we advocates take on the job that some legislators fail to do. Is it fair for us to seek meetings with members of Congress and Senate and plead the needs for Vietnam veterans? Is it fair to continue to ask the American people to write to their legislators to do their job and pass House Bill HR-3612 and Senate Bill S.1629? We ask for these bills to restore VA health care and compensation disability.
We Vietnam veterans who are sick with diseases caused by Agent Orange Dioxin poisoning are doomed, unless those bills are passed. Is this our death sentence for serving our country? Is this the legacy we are to leave our children and grand-children?
We advocates understand veterans issues are not the only items our legislators must deal with. Is it fair to say, we who served deserve to receive fair and equitable priority? I ask the American people once again to support us. Write the Congress and Senate. Urge them to pass the aforementioned bills.